Harris County

Sunnyside residents get help with tax, housing, loan questions

Dozens of individuals were able to communicate directly with congressional caseworkers regarding social security, IRS, Medicare and Veterans’ assistance.

Shavonne Herndon / Houston Public Media
U.S. Congressman Al Green had federal assistants helping residents with issues like Veterans’ resources, IRS and HUD concerns.

Congressman Al Green and congressional case workers spent several hours at Houston's Mancuso neighborhood library in the Sunnyside neighborhood to provide residents with help on federal assistance issues.

Dozens of individuals were able to communicate directly with congressional caseworkers regarding social security, IRS, Medicare and Veterans' assistance.

Richard Puttman was there looking for help making his wife a permanent resident.

"We need to get this straightened out as soon as possible," Puttman explained while his wife Fong stood by his side. "We’ve been more than, I think, 18 months trying to get green card and work authorization."

Representatives from the Small Business Administration, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and student loan officials were all on hand.

Over the weekend a federal appeals court suspended the federal student loan debt forgiveness program, the first legal challenge to President Biden's plan.

"There are people in this country who believe that if you allow the opposition party to do something positive that that will help the opposition party to stay in office," Congressmen Al Green. "And so as a result their mission is to just block everything."

There are $1.6 trillion in outstanding student loan debt for more than 45 million borrowers. So far, more than 8 million loan borrowers have completed their student loan forgiveness applications. Officials from Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas and South Carolina worked together to file the case against Biden's plan.

"This case has been stymied in a lawsuit that was filed by six states that are arguing that the program would hurt state based loan companies that manage some federal loans themselves," Green said. "While I see this as a specious argument, the court obviously differed with me."

Although this is the first event of it's kind hosted by Green, the congressman is planning on having several more of these.

"This is the first area and the first we decided to embrace here because of the concentration of low income earners," Green added. "The most important reason is so that people will know that there’s a resource available to them if there’s a federal agency that they’re having some complications with. It’s important for people to have access to information."

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